Monday, October 27, 2008

Endurance Podium – Me!

Headed down to NC for the Oktoberfest 8 hour this past weekend with Hubby & Bikewrench, the event with many of the best racing, both men and women. I was just looking forward to “racing” (if I could call it that) with all the expected pro crew. I always love endurance races, the environment and comradery. Everyone is just there to ride their bikes and have fun. Granted, during many of those hours no one actually thinks they are having fun, it’s always when you look back!

Rain fell the night before and morning of. Our friends had told us this course gets slick with rain, they weren’t lying! The first laps were slick with the wet clay/mud mix combined with a good number of roots. After a few hours the course was starting to dry and you could tell just how fast and fun this course could be. But once you started flying with the dry sections you were occasionally reminded there were still those spots of wet trails around the corner. I never went down; instead I played it safe all day. But oddly this was physically the hardest race I can remember for me. I felt spent, even though I had plenty of nutrients and hydration. My heart rate was lower than average rides. I was just tired. But it didn’t matter to me, I didn’t care if I was riding slow Saturday, I just kept riding. Really it was only around 7:43 minutes of riding (they had a cut-off for the last lap at 7:30, and honestly I was quite alright not doing another lap)

Throughout the day I got to watch Harlan Price and Jeremiah Bishop ride & race together the entire time, to end with basically a sprint finish. I watched Tinker ride his race with a steady smoothness; I watched Pua pick up her pace as the course dried out. (Really, they all lapped me quite a bit) Okay, almost everyone lapped me and I enjoyed just watching everyone ride their race and I rode mine. I enjoyed everyone I talked with; I enjoyed seeing Hubby during the day; enjoyed watching him have a great race. It was cool our friends made it down during the day to see a little of the event. Cooler they seem interested in trying it themselves.

But then it even got better for me, I got my first endurance race podium, 3rd place. I was on the podium with one of the best! Didn’t matter to me that the lower female turnout is what really caused my podium, I was stoked. I was there and I rode my ‘race’. I would insert what I’m sure would be a great podium photo shot that I’d love to share but… the camera battery chose to die right when I went up. So be it, I’m sure they’ll be some pictures out there at some point.

Add to it that I got my first paycheck from racing! Pretty darn cool. Hubby asked me if I’d frame it or cash it.. Tough, but cash is cash – it’ll go to the bank. (That’s what scanner’s are for!) I got a cool mug and huge wine size bottle of Acai juice to try sometime. They really did a great job with the event, sponsor’s, organization, everything. Hopefully it’ll be an event they’ll do again and I’d expect the turnout would grow as word of mouth spreads.

Overall a great weekend seeing friends and all of us having a great race. Now we’re back in PA, we’re back with our boy’s and it’s time for family R&R time! (As I currently listen to our youngest snore.. I think they’re more tired than us!)

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